When your business is near the top of the list on Google, it allows potential customers to find you first. But how do you achieve better visibility than your competitors? By improving your Search Engine Optimisation, known as SEO. 

SEO is all about having the right information online so that search engines such as Google rank you as high as possible. It sounds complicated but it isn’t. Making some simple improvements to your online presence is all you need to do – and you will be rewarded by an increase in customer traffic.

Read on for our top tips on how to appear higher on Google search results.

1. Link to your Which? Trusted Trader profile from your website

This is a key first step to give your Google presence a boost. Linking to your Which? Trusted Traders profile from your website means you can benefit from having an association with an independent, trustworthy brand. 

Not only does the Which? association offer reassurance to potential customers, but it gives Google and other search engines that same confidence, meaning your web pages are likely to rank higher. Links can be through an image or text, and it’s best to put it in a prominent position, such as towards the top of a webpage.

Update your Which? Trusted Traders profile regularly too, so that customers receive the most recent information, and fill out your profile page as completely as possible.

If you’d like to know how to stand out on the Which? search as well as Google, read our guide to making the most of searches on Which? Trusted Trader.

2. Promote your business locally with Google My Business

Registering for a Google My Business (GMB) profile is a free way to promote your company online. This includes appearing in the Businesses Google panel and also on Google Maps for searches such as ‘plumber near me’.

You can add all sorts of information to your GMB profile, for example images, links to your social media profiles and any offers you are running. Google will then match with local customers who are searching for your services.

Don’t forget to link to your Which? Trusted Traders profile page and your website from your GMB posts. Your Google presence is boosted when you link to all of your relevant sites.

To find out more about how to use this tool to promote your company for free, read our in-depth guide on Google My Business.

3. Include customer reviews on your Which? Trusted Traders profile

There’s nothing better than a personal recommendation and this means Google loves genuine, positive reviews from customers. Featuring plenty on your profile means you’ll have a better chance of appearing first on a search.

Many Google results include a star rating – a speedy way for potential clients to see how well rated a trader is. Around ninety per cent of people read online reviews before engaging with a business, so asking every happy customer to leave a review on your Which? Trusted Traders and Google My Business profile is crucial.

4. Create a detailed About You section on your website

People buy from people – and letting potential customers know who they are engaging with is appealing to them, as well as Google. 

By creating an About Us section on your website, you have an opportunity to show off your skills, achievements and training. It will cement your reputation as a business with expertise and authority.

5. Use images and videos to showcase your successes

Don’t be shy – highlight your skills by including photos and videos of your work on your Which? Trusted Traders profile. Images also help to break up blocks of text and provide a speedy way for potential customers to see your high standards.

It’s wise to add these visuals to your Google My Business profile too.

6. Use the right keywords on your web pages

When it comes to Google weeding out the best from the rest, keywords are an obvious signal to the search engine to show what your web pages are about. Make sure that your website has plenty of words related to the services you offer. Good examples are “quality plumbing” or “bathroom fitters”.

Including these in the titles of your pages and in the text will help Google understand it better – but make sure your website content makes sense when a customer reads it and you’re not just “keyword stuffing”.

7. Know the benefits of being a Which? Trusted Trader

Being an accredited trader doesn’t just help to boost your visibility on Google – there are lots of other advantages that come with being a Which? Trusted Trader.

  • Which? Trusted Traders gets an average of 300,000 views a month from potential customers looking for a trader they can trust, according to data from Google Analytics.

  • You can use the respected Which? brand and associated logos to stand out from the competition.

  • If you’ve got a dispute with a customer that you can’t resolve, you have access to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.

  • Membership includes a subscription to Which? magazine.

  • You’ll have a dedicated account manager to help you make the most of your endorsement.

Don’t take our word for it – see what one of our current Which? Trusted Traders has to say about being endorsed by Which?:

“We have really benefited as a company. The endorsement lifted our company profile and we expanded from a sole trader to a limited company because of this.” - Splash of Colour Painters and Decorators Ltd

Sign up to Which? Trusted Traders now to find out more about how it can help you stand out from the crowd.